London, 30 June 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA).
Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale realised £78,817,050 (€87.7 million), exceeding the pre-auction estimate of £76.8 million. This is remarkable, as Christie’s has not had such a successful contemporary art sale since the 2008 auction which reached £86.2 million.
Fifty-three of the sixty lots found buyers. Big Baby by Ron Mueck, one of the Young British Artists, was estimated at £800,000 to £1.2 million and sold for £825,250 (€918,671). The work is from the collection of Kay Saatchi, the wife of Charles Saatchi. The collection sold for a total of £3.9 million (€4.3 million). Another lot from the highly-anticipated Saatchi collection, Looking Back by Paul Rego, went under the hammer for the record amount of £769,250 (€856,331).
However, five drawings by Lucian Freud, also from the Saatchi collection, realised the highest prices. Rabbit on a chair (1944) sold for £1,049,250 (€1,168,028), far more than its lowest estimate of £300,000 to £400,000. Woman Smiling by the same artist was estimated at £3.5 million to £4.5 million and purchased for £4,745,250 (€5,282,426). Dead Bird sold for £421,250 (€468,937). Works by British artists were the highlight of the sale, as illustrated by Francis Bacon’s Study for a portrait, which was estimated at £10 million to £15 million and sold for £17,961,250 (€19,994,517).